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Do you make turns with a tommy gun?

Steve LynnVail, CO Colorado

BEAVER CREEK – Skiers and snowboarders holstered their guns and fastened their boots in their bindings as they headed for the lifts at Beaver Creek Mountain.Well, not really – no skiers, snowboarders or cowboys were found carrying pistols or rifles on the slopes Sunday afternoon. A ski area is an unlikely place for the average skier or snowboarder to carry a firearm. But along with bright orange jackets and pea-green snowpants, are shiny six-shooters must-have equipment for skiing (as they are for shoppers in many Wyoming grocery stores)? “Is that legal?” said John Kroeger, of Texas.The Colorado Skier Safety Act does not say anything about whether it’s legal to carry a gun on the slopes. “There’s no need for one,” said Molly McQueen, of Denver. “I don’t carry one around in the city either.” John Garrett, of suburban Denver, has never seen anyone carrying a gun on the slopes. “Most of the gangsters I know don’t ski or snowboard,” he said. With all the giant moguls in Beaver Creek, San Diego resident Ashley Anderson said she might accidentally set her gun off if she carried one.Eric Hines, of Denver, said his snowboard is the only weapon he needs. If a skier chose to pick a fight with Hines, would poles not give that skier the advantage? “The board could work as a shield and a weapon at the same time,” Hines said. Grant Hensel, of Chicago, used to carry an assault rifle on his back, but it was too bulky and hurt him when he fell, he said jokingly. Plus, he could not find anything good to shoot, he said. “It just didn’t seem like the best use of the AK-47,” Hensel said. Fred Gallart, of Miami, said guns should be banned. “Carry a condom instead of a gun,” Gallart said. Brad Tyson, of Kansas City, Mo., would not carry a gun because it would poke him if he fell. “If you’re in Missouri, you can carry them everywhere, which is scary,” Tyson said. If Palm Springs, Calif., resident Jesse Bongard “were out in the wilderness, I would carry one for sure” to fight off mountain lions and bears and maybe for food if he ran out, he said. You’re probably more likely to get struck by lighting than be attacked by a bear or mountain lion, Jesse. What if someone rides your favorite run of untouched powder before you? Does Colorado’s so-called Make My Day law (which lets a person shoot a burglar who enters his or her home) apply for locals on the mountain?”No way, man. It’s not your powder stash,” said snowboarder James Battreall, of Eagle-Vail. “It was theirs first.”If someone pulled a gun on the slopes, John Garrett wouldn’t be afraid because he knows Chinese kung fu, he said. “I’d probably disarm him and take away the gun … and throw them in the snow because that’s what it’s all about,” Garrett said. Rafael Rubio, a beginning skier who lives in Mexico City, said it would be silly to carry a gun in a place where everyone helps him. In the past, people have brought Rubio’s skis to him after some bad falls on Vail and Beaver Creek mountains, he said.”It’s a very friendly atmosphere,” Rubio said. Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.


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